Adjusting the game to the actual market situation

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Iven, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Iven Elder

    EverQuest is now nearly twenty years old and alot factors outside the game have changed during this time. Twenty years are ALOT for an MMO. To me its obvious that the game is not well adjusted to the current market situation even that alot things have been implemented over the years by the developers to keep up with changes. One thing has been slipped totally it seems and this is the aged player base and community. During the vanilla years (1999-2004) the majority of players was about 15-30 years old, with an average age of 25.7 years around the year 2003. The few veterans that still play today or have returned after a long break, would have an age of 35-50 years now (~41 years in average).

    Check out this study for more details from the past, it has been released around the year 2003:

    Personally I had played EQ in the years 2000-2004 and 2015-2018 so pretty exactly seven years alltogether. Based on my personal ingame experiences in the last few years as a returned player I had noticed significant changes in player behaviour and game features but about no changes in overall game mechanics and its market concept regarding the age of the target group, which is weird as I am pretty sure that the player base is now much older than back in the early years even that alot young players have joined over the years. This should be overlooked and the game and its marketing adjusted to this situation! Here is a quick analyse that I made, you may had experienced this differently:

    The situation in 2000-2004:

    - The political, economic and social situation was better and alot more stable in most of the player origin countries (USA, canada, germany, france, great britain, spain, scandinavia, japan, ..).
    - Core player base was teens and twents, not many players was older than thirtyfive years.
    - EverQuest and other MMOs was a hype and players was generally very excited by this new game and internet experience.
    - Very communicative players (chat, emotes).
    - Players did spent ALOT time in EQ.
    - Players did spent alot money for EQ (~25 US-dollar monthly fee which is worth like 35 US-dollar today).
    - Alot happy, social and open minded players even that some game and online mechanics was horrible (slow 56 kbit/s dial up modems, alot hardware and server lag, alot disconnections and zone/server crashes, endless corpse runs, lost corpses with all gear rotting with them, very slow and bad GM service, no customer support outside the game like now).
    - Alot active players.
    - Alot active guilds.
    - Alot experience and dungeon crawl groups.
    - Only very few players are boxing (playing multiple characters/accounts); mercs was non existant.
    - About every player had (bought) all available game expansions which did keep the community together

    The situation now (2018):

    - The political, economic and social situation is much worse and unstable now worldwide.
    - Alot "old" players around, but also younger players, the age spread has increased. The older players (veterans) have family and kids now often, a few even play EQ together with their kids now.
    - Alot other MMO projects had entered the game market since late 2004.
    - Players got used to the internet and MMOs and have experienced alot of them so they are much less excited and bored faster now.
    - Much less communicative players (I think that the increased age is the main factor).
    - Players spend way less time in EQ than in the past.
    - Players seem to spend alot less money for EQ now, maybe only about 1/2 to 1/3 like in the past.
    - Players act emotionally dulled, depressive, little social, more egoistic.
    - Not many active players anymore (only a small fragment per server compared to the vanilla years)
    - Only very few active guilds with a RL player base higher than 5 people on life servers.
    - The typical open experience group is dead on life servers, instead about everyone is moloing and boxing multiple accounts. Boxing 3 accounts is very common now and experience groups are limited to guilds but still rare.
    - Alot players do not have bought/unlocked the latest two game expansions which does split the community which is poisonous to servers with a small player base.

    What can be done to adjust the game to the current situation ?

    Fellow players, please post constructive ideas as comments !
    I can just name the things that came into my mind and these are:

    1. EverQuest has to many barriers that prevent content being accessed and explored. As example there are many quests/tasks that require a group (two, three or even more characters) even that the content can be done solo. The majority of the players on the live servers is soloing/moloing and boxing and one of the reasons for boxing is locked group and raid content but players want to explore them all. Remove those barriers and install more instanced zones if needed!

    2. Introduce more and more complex, well written quests that can be done by single characters. Do not give players more reasons to box multiple accounts as boxing and moloing are symptoms and not the reason why people play the game.

    3. Merging life servers is inevitable to keep servers populated and vital. Double as much life servers are availably as needed imo. New players do not stay for a long time in the game when experiencing "graveyard" zones and small populated servers.

    4. Rethink about the pricing/payment policy and marketing. I won´t write much more about this as the forum policity does not allow such discussions. Just one thing that should be allowed: I always wondered why there are no armor ornamentations for classic character models available (in the marketplace) even that alot players have adjusted their eqclient.ini file to show classic models (disabled luclin models). Such a feature could be a win win situation for the company and for players. Also alot money can be made with merchandise articles (plush dolls, figurines, T-Shirts, mugs, posters..)

    Think about a measurement to counter a splitted and decreasing player community where only a part of the players has access to the latest two expansions. I cannot write more.

    5. EverQuest should be made more attractive to older players generally. I do not think that it can competete with modern games when focusing on young players (teenagers) but instead it is an unique game with its own market niche. Concentrate on this niche, there are not many MMOs out there for adult players.... yet.

    6. Newer expansions lack in atmosphere sounds and happy/mysterious/adventuring music alot and music in general. You might want to hire Jay Barbeau again as he is a genious musician that shaped EverQuest alot in the past. Good gaming atmosphere and music (and well written quests) can compensate outdated graphics alot.
    Pirlo likes this.
  2. Dythan Augur

  3. Cstoner187 Elder

    a lot is two words.
    Sagarmatha, UncleUms and Havanap like this.
  4. Defjam1 Journeyman

    Eq has never been 25 dollars a month. And in case you don't follow the news, our economy is rolling right along. And people that have sound on in game for the music are just weird.
    Yinla likes this.
  5. Aurastrider Augur

    I think the best solution which I have mentioned several times for new content is creating easy, medium, and hard difficulty versions of new zones and missions with the loot matching the level of difficulty. This would allow even the most casual or "average" player to experience all of the content without making the game feel like work. It would also provide increased challenges for those who are or think they are the best of the best keeping them engaged longer. Cross server grouping and raids would take care of some of the grouping issues also but I imagine both of the above would require significantly more resources than the development team has.

    As far as boxing goes it is deeply engrained into EQ and I personally believe it should be made easier to do rather than making it more difficult. The reason being is the fact which you already pointed out and that's an aging population. A lot of older players left here are here because they love the game. Boxing allows them to log in and make the most out of potentially limited playing time. It also allows for those with RL responsibilities the ability to step away without disrupting other players experience or game play. Lastly some people like myself really enjoy boxing over playing one character. Trying to understand multiple classes, how they mesh together in theory, and then actually making them work together like a well oiled machine makes the experience more exciting for me at least. It is not a symptom as you suggest but rather the single biggest reason why I am still here year after year.

    The measure to counter players from only having access to the last two expansions is to get people engaged and to current end game. At this point the newest expansion will sell itself but the first two things need to happen first.

    Merging servers has been attempted and the last one was a huge fail with so many bugs with no guarantee that the outcome people are looking for will actually be achieved. Server merging without some major changes also brings about some serious in game issues such as artisans prize progression. Without something like AOC doubling a server population and then having more players compete for limited spawns will bring about more retaliation and such which is the opposite of what most people who play on live want. There are a lot of coding bugs and in game considerations that would need to be fixed and addressed before I could ever get on board with my server merging with another.
    Iven, UncleUms, snailish and 2 others like this.
  6. Berkwin Elder

    Get this game on Mobile Asap. That's adjusting to the current market. RuneScape pretty much Exploded its population.....
  7. Riou Augur

    I was hoping that Dzarns cutting down of keys amounted to more, but they have been fully replaced and even more further added on.

    They could delete like half the buttons in the game to be productive and it might still be too many. Hitting the same button more is generally better then hitting 2 buttons in 2x the time. The difference between people hitting random buttons and knowing generally what to do is like a 25% vs 100% dps difference, other mmo's the difference is more like 80% vs 100%, the gap between casual and min/maxer is extreme

    It also might help to smooth out the leveling from 1+ (or 85+ with heroic) to be able to accomplish anything solo since that's the reality of playing
    Gyurika Godofwar, snailish and Pirlo like this.
  8. Berkwin Elder

    A Actual MMO Based Solely on group play to progress Died long time ago. they fact they keep this a group based MMO is kind of mind blowing it will drive people away or the ones who want to stay are forced to dish out 2+ the amount to actually play the content. Daybreak needs to realize that if they want full servers its time for a HP Damage ratio overhaul or at least get rid of paying for Merc's and beef them up so any class can solo/molo if they so choose too.
  9. Beggly Augur

    Have to disagree with most of what you said.
    Prepared likes this.
  10. Daedly Augur

    "Only very few active guilds with a RL player base higher than 5 people on life servers."

    Coagagin and Xianzu_Monk_Tunare like this.
  11. Funk Augur

    I disagree with every one of these.

    That is part of what makes EQ great, progressing in a given expansion to unlock those barriers you are talking about. Some parts of progression can be done solo depending on class and ability level, while others do require group help.

    I still get insanely awesome groups of all real players, however sometimes you do have to be proactive and send some tells or start a group yourself.
    Yinla, Coagagin and Prepared like this.
  12. S33k3r Augur

    Where are you getting this info, most of this looks like it was made up on the spot ?
  13. Smokezz Augur

    EQ was $9.95/mo originally.. not $25/mo. Where did you get $25/mo?!
    Prepared likes this.
  14. Wiff Elder

    At level 85 it was taking me 2-3 light/low blue mobs (on FV) to get 1% solo.
    A level 91 told me it was taking him roughly 10 mobs to get 1%.
    I read on this forum a few days ago that a level 109 was not getting even 1% for 35-40 kills. He was not doing optimal content, but that is still just insane.

    I can (barely) see killing 200+ mobs to get to 86. Seeing what I was facing down the road drained any motivation I had to do it.

    We need a viable way to catch up without boxing.
  15. Inagaki Lorekeeper

    Do Teek Daily Tasks. Do Merc Tasks that have no timers. Get to a point where you don't care about the kill exp because only the Task / Quest exp matters. This works well until lvl 100.
    Gyurika Godofwar and code-zero like this.
  16. Wiff Elder

    I was doing the daily quest, but I'm not sure what you mean by "merc tasks". I molo'd the Gribble guys task and it was less overall xp than just killing light blues. I believe that quest was meant for a group, so I had to carefully pull singles and heal up after every fight (Ranger). It really wasn't worth it.
  17. Inagaki Lorekeeper

    From House of Thule (the expansion) onwards, each zone has Mercenary Tasks with no lockout timers where you just need to kill a certain amount of mobs.

    At lvl 85, go to the zone-in of "House of Thule, Lower Floors" and see if you can handle the Dogs and Snakes reliably. They are lvls 83-85. If you can, then you can repeat the following quests as much as you want because they do not have lockout timers:

    Thinning Out Their Numbers: Rotdogs and Snakes
    Thinning Out Their Numbers: Terror Spinners and Sleeper Cubes
    Thinning Out Their Numbers: Terror Guards

    Once you out-grow the Lower Floors (Tier 1), you can start advancing into Erudin Burning (Tier 2) and Fear Itself (Tier 3) for more Merc Tasks of the same nature.

    If mobs in Lower Floors is a tad bit too high for you, then try Extermination in Erudin Burning. Mobs for this Merc Task is lvl 80 only. But Task exp is not as good.

    Note: Usually, Rangers prefer Feerrott the Dream while SKs and Mages prefer Gyrospire Beza/Zeka in their lvl 80s. But try Lower Floors first and see how you do because it's much safer and requires much less skill than the other zones.
  18. Wiff Elder

    Ok, thanks. I'll give that a try if I ever get motivated to play on live again.
  19. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Augur

    Count me among them. However, the music in Gorowyn is creepy, and not in a way that enhances gameplay!
  20. BadPallyGuildLeader Augur

    wall of text

    Corwyhn Lionheart likes this.

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